Since 2000, the Big Ten conference has been loaded with elite talents and some of college basketball’s greatest players. Fans have seen numerous Big Ten players earn All-Americans and National Players of the Year honors during that time.
But who have been the best?
With the offseason in full swing, BTPowerhouse has decided to sit down and break down the Big Ten’s greatest players since the start of the 2000-’01 season. We will be taking a look at each program and how it fits into the league.
This time, we will look at the greatest players from the last 17 seasons for the Indiana Hoosiers. Please note that this evaluation only looks at college contributions at the particular school. It does not include a player’s contributions at another school or at the professional level.
Brief Program Recap Since 2000:
However, before we jump into the discussion regarding Indiana’s greatest players over the last 17 seasons, let’s take a second to recap what the program has done during that time frame. After all, 2000 may not seem that long ago, but there are kids literally on the verge of graduating high school who were born then. As such, it’s probably worth a quick recap.
-Basic Stats Since 2000
- NCAA Tournament Appearances: 11
- Winning Seasons: 13
- Big Ten POTY Winners: Two
- Consensus All-Americans: One
Indiana’s basketball history is one of the most decorated in college basketball. In their 117 seasons, the Hoosiers have made the NCAA Tournament 39 times, or exactly 33 percent of the time. The program has produced eight Final Fours and five National Championships.
Over the last 17 seasons, the Hoosiers have seen moderate success, but not to the level of the Assembly Hall faithful. Indiana has produced just one Final Four appearance (2002) in eleven NCAA Tournament trips. The Hoosiers have reached four Sweet Sixteens, but have suffered multiple disappointing losses including a 2013 upset by fourth-seeded Syracuse.
The program hit a low point during the NCAA recruiting violations scandal of the Kelvin Sampson regime, but rebounded from three consecutive losing seasons to achieve a 15 game win improvement during the 2011-2012 season. This year, new head coach Archie Miller will start the process of guiding the Hoosiers to that ninth Final Four appearance.
Indiana’s Mount Rushmore Since 2000:
-DJ White (2004-2008)
Although White’s teams never had the success of the other members on this list, his individual accomplishments warrant his inclusion. One of the few Indiana players to come from the south, White made head coach Mike Davis look like a recruiting soothsayer after his career had ended. White stayed at IU when Kelvin Sampson was hired, showing a genuine love and allegiance to the university
White made an immediate impact in the Big Ten, earning Freshman of the Year honors in 2005. His 13.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game averages were incredible for a Big Ten newcomer. His senior season, White earned Big Ten Conference Player of the Year while averaging a double-double with 17.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. No Indiana player has averaged a double-double or achieved Big Ten Player of the Year status since White in 2008.
White finished his career with 1,447 points (18th all time), despite missing most of his sophomore season with a broken foot. The Hoosiers did make the NCAA Tournament in three of his four years at Bloomington, but the lack of overall team success is dwarfed by White’s outstanding individual accomplishments.
-Yogi Ferrell (2012-2016)
During his four-year career, Yogi Ferrell scored 1,986 points, which ranks sixth all-time in Indiana basketball history. But the lightning quick Indiana high school product is best know for creating scoring for others, as his 633 assists (first all-time) will attest. Ferrell played in 137 games at Indiana, finishing with career averages of 14.5 points and 4.6 assists per game.
Ferrell garnered awards throughout his college career, including Big Ten All-Freshmen Team (2013), All-Big Ten Defensive Team (2016), two first team All-Big Ten awards (2015 & 2016), a third team AP All-American honor, and was named second team Sporting News All-American (2016). Ferrell was one of the most accomplished Hoosiers in school history.
Yogi Ferrell was the quintessential team leader for Indiana, and guided the team to a Sweet Sixteen birth as a freshman in 2013, and again as a senior in 2016. He is a true all-time Indiana great that deserves a spot on the “IU Mount Rushmore.”
-Victor Oladipo (2010-2013)
Perhaps no player was an easier selection for this list than Oladipo. He played three seasons for Indiana, and had a profound impact both individually and as a integral part of leading the Hoosiers back to the top of college basketball.
Oladipo made a name for himself as a defensive stopper, making the All-Big Ten Defensive Team as a sophomore in 2012. He ended the season averaging 10.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. This all around great season was a sign of things to come for his junior campaign.
In 2013, Oladipo won almost every award imaginable. He earned the following accolades:
- Big Ten All-Defensive team (second consecutive year)
- First-team All-Big Ten
- Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year
- Co-NABC Defensive Player of the Year (Jeff Withey-Kansas)
- Finished second in Wooden Award Finalist Voting (Trey Burke-Michigan)
- The Sporting News Player of the Year
- Consensus First-Team All-American
Even more importantly, Oladipo led the Hoosiers to a Big Ten Regular Season Championship for the first time since 2002. Indiana also qualified as a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time 1993. In a 21st century Mount Rushmore of Indiana basketball, Victor Oladipo is sits right at the forefront.
-Jared Jeffries (2000-2002)
The player who led the Hoosiers to their only NCAA Tournament Final appearance in the last 17 seasons, certainly makes the list. Jared Jeffries was a homegrown Indiana legend who has named “Indiana Mr. Basketball” as a high school senior in 2000. He only played two college seasons at Indiana but they could not have been more memorable.
Jeffries currently ranks 50th all time in scoring with 1,008 points despite only playing the two years. He was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2001, averaging 13.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game. He was as versatile a scorer as a freshman as any player in the country.
In 2002, Jeffries was the Big Ten Player of the Year, a consensus second team All-American, and led the Hoosiers to a share of the Big Ten Regular Season Championship for the first time since 1993. Indiana continued the momentum into the NCAA Tournament where they reached the NCAA Championship game against Maryland.
Jeffries dominated the 2002 post-season and will be most remembered for his 24 point, 15 rebound performance that led Indiana to a 74-73 victory over number one seeded Duke in the Sweet Sixteen.
Jared Jeffries may have only played two college seasons, but his individual accomplishments were the foundation for the most successful IU season since 1993.
Honorable Mention: Jordan Hulls, A.J. Moye, Eric Gordon, Christian Watford, Cody Zeller